Patagonia kitlist

Before trips I get a bit… concerned about detail. That’s putting it kindly. Perhaps it’s fuzzy memories of my mum organising the troops before family holidays when everything had to be accounted for – to her credit, can’t remember there ever being one of those “I thought you had the passports…” moments, and in my…

Bikepacking bikes

Bikepacking for me started with a loop of the Cairngorms on a hot, sunny weekend in 2013. I used a couple of harnesses borrowed from Annie to attach oversized, dumpy drybags to the bars and seat of an Orange Elite 26” hardtail, and faded into the moors. A couple of days later I emerged, slavering…

The best laid plans…

It takes quite a lot of work to make a big trip happen, not to mention a liberal sprinkling of money where airfares and equipment are concerned. From the seeds of a vague conversation sometime last winter, to what felt like weeks researching routes, plane tickets and airline policies for bicycles, in summer we paid…

Riding Vicariously

We’re funny creatures, aren’t we? In a world of infinite distraction, unknowable mystery and singular beauty (not to mention the internet), human beings are drawn to boredom like a toddler to exposed electrical sockets, among our many other faults. Despite ourselves, we seem to have an unerring ability to pass from novel amazement to outright…

Bikerafting the Rough Bounds

“And this is where Rob thought he’d broken his leg”, said Andy, pointing to a mass of tightly packed contour lines on the map as he talked about the last time he had been to Knoydart. “Good job he hadn’t too, because if something happens out there, well… It’s not going to go well. Are…

A Journey Through the West Highlands

Summer had arrived in Fort William, and the town was baking beneath the scrutiny of an unblinking sun. Call me a sceptic, but given the weather that we typically see in this part of the world in July I was neither expecting nor coping with it. I finished the meticulous packing of my frame bag,…

Giro Alpineduro: First Impressions

I’ll admit that when I ordered these shoes it was mostly out of curiosity rather than any deeply held conviction that they hed the key to all my footwear needs. The name intrigued me, sounding like a cobbled together portmanteau produced by some serious synergy and blue-sky thinking at a creativity meeting, and they look…

Video: North-West Waters

Back in April I gave packrafting a go, persuaded mostly by Annie and her shiny new boat from backcountrybiking. I wrote a few words about what we got up to here, but below is a video made using some clips we shot at the time. Disclaimer: there is some shonky home movie content, but as…

Crossing Iceland: Nyidalur to Hella

We went to bed for the second night at Nyidalur hut expecting the next day to be a windy one – come morning, I can’t say we were disappointed. One of the main poles of the tent had been bent, and we had a struggle collapsing it without it going airborne. The wind was gusting above…

Crossing Iceland: Godafoss to Nyidalur

Apologies. This post is a long one, but it’s one that I’ve been piecing together for a while, and it seems that there is rather a lot to say (too much to subject a reader to in a single post). At a glance, it’s an account of a crossing, by bicycle, of the Icelandic interior,…

A Complete Guide to Cycle Touring

Originally posted on The Wandering Nomads:
How To Begin 1) Buy (or acquire) a bike. 2) Pick a direction. 3) Go. It’s as simple as that. You will figure out what foods work best for you once you hit the road, just as you will figure out how amazing people are once you experience your…